Issue 9: Vermin – Call for contributions

Issue 9: Vermin CfC

 

Rats. Cockroaches. Locusts. Plagues and infestations. Vermin are the unwanted, the weeds of the animal kingdom, the exterminable. They spread infection and disease and pose a threat to human life. For its ninth issue, Nyx, a noctournal seeks contributions that address the concept of vermin.

How can we think about the construction of vermin, particularly in relation to the human and social world?

Vermin. Those noxious elements, those patrons of the gutter, those outsiders, those parasites, those eyesores of an otherwise secure and vindicated environment. As the uncontrollable, as social scoundrels, vermin operate in those dark places, underground, seeking upward mobility or simply to feed off discards of the ethically sanitized. For that vermin carry the potential to cause harm. Vermin invest and infect the purity of the biological body, the harmony of the body politic. The rats, the underclass, the unproductive.

And yet, vermin spring from the very way in which the un-vermin live and think. Vermin strive on waste of productivity and are constituted by processes of social verminization, that is, by the un-vermin. To be vermin, then, is a state, a relation, a way of being far from inoculated from other states, other relations, and other ways of being.

We welcome submissions in the form of academic essays, pieces of journalism, fiction and experimental writing, images or other pieces of visual art.

Nyx, a noctournal is a print and online publication of critical theory, radical politics and art. It is peer reviewed by a collective of young researchers, activists and theorists and is based at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Brief proposals in abstract form, of no more than 500 words/3 images, should be sent along with a brief biography to noctournal@gmail.com by 31/10/13

In final form, written contributions will not exceed 2,500 words, and visual contributions should not exceed 6 images. All images submitted should be 300dpi resolution.

Nyx Blog: Call for Contributions

Image by Alessandro Ripane


 

Nyx, a Noctournal is a peer-reviewed print/online platform of cultural theory, politics and art. Whilst print is beautiful, online and open-access platforms hold great potential for sharing work with a growing network of new cultural theorists, activists, and art practitioners. And whilst we can’t pay for work, as our limited funds all go into costs of printing and launching the print journal, we can ensure it is edited, supported and shared with an international web of thinkers and graduate researchers.

Sound good? If you have ideas, work, images, research, recorded lectures or events you’d like to share, or have suggestions about content, email noctournal@gmail.com. To see the type of work we would particularly welcome, you can check out at the bottom some of the most recent material we have published on our blog. Ranging from articles, artworks, reviews, translations and audio/video recordings, our online content—as opposed to our print version—is less bound by the necessity to stick to an overarching theme.

Issue 8: Skin launch party

Cover image by Alice White

Please join us for the launch of Nyx: A Noctournal issue 8 featuring Stewart Home, Catherine Malabou, Hedi el Kholti, Federico Campagna and many more. The launch night will include art and video projections, DJs and bands (Mean Bikini, Rude Intruder, and The Wharves) and you’ll be able to pick up a copy of the new issue. Tickets will be £3 on the door.

Where: The CLF Art Cafe AKA The Bussey Building, Peckham, SE15 4ST

When: Friday 10th May, 10 p.m.

Nyx poster launch

What happens next?, by Charlotte Latimer

Olympic leak

“Yet you could feel a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Perhaps it was an awareness of time passing, the last summer of the decade. Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what?”
Patti Smith, Just Kids

Reading Just Kids (2010) I was struck by how, as the world keeps changing irrevocably, our struggle to make sense of it, to predict it, impedes our ability to act. Having just lived through the ‘cultural revolution’ of 1968 it’s easy to see why Smith would sense a feeling of anticipation, anxiety excitement. Her writing reflects on a great period of historical and cultural change, but it does not offer it shape or meaning. Like the characters from her memoir we are all constantly on the edge of a historical precipice, which once we have fallen from, we will never be able to claw our way back. Things move quickly and are forgotten, our norms, our beliefs, our ways of seeing are radically overhauled and in the chaos of the everyday it slips our collective consciousness. Seductive technologies reduce humans down to machines. Governments and business measure, monitor and control our inputs and outputs, maximise our processes, find new ways to reshape and remould us, to manipulate our desire. The mystery of the universe, the magic that vibrates within us has been reduced down to a science, only knowledge exists now.

What do the vibrations in the air mean? Is ‘History’ taking an important turn or is it experiencing its last hurrah, a final stab at glory? I say this in light of recent Olympics mania and the great narratives surrounding it, it was for many a truly incredible historical moment. Yet it feels difficult to be part of a community, country, world where outrageous politics continue to fester and capitalistic forces dominate and control every aspect of our waking lives, right down to the clothes we wear, the words we use and the food we eat. This phenomena is not bound to the Olympics, transnational capitalism has been dictating how we live our lives for decades but its process mechanisms have been beautifully crystallised throughout the Olympics.

Grassroots sports, local regeneration, economic development: the main lies that the Olympics has propagated to justify and complete its accumulation of capital. Obviously ‘the Olympics’ have no agency, they are a historical phenomena, the scraping up of huge amounts of either inhabited or radioactive land and ‘taxpayers’ money to be smothered in branding and sold back to us can not be blamed on an ancient Greek tradition (although Greek traditions can be blamed for much of Western politics and philosophy) . To understand the politics of this event we have to step away from representational theory and think about actors, networks and processes. The main sponsors of the Olympics are the obvious targets: politicians, London Transport, and all the people that profited from this takeover of a historical sporting event and the city of London. It is interesting to see what have been the essential processes of capitalism propagated here; colonisation, accumulation, exploitation of labour, huge profit margins, hoarded by the very wealthy and underhanded dealings. The relentless need to accumulate profit at the expense of the environment, social issues and economic justice or sustainability. The big companies rush in, take everything they can and then leave. Abandoning an area that has been changed beyond recognition, spatial and social relations destroyed, production and distribution disrupted, environment damaged, no jobs and obesity levels rising with kids hooked on cadburys, McDonalds and Coca-cola.

With youth unemployment on the rise and less and less opportunity to access higher or further education it’s hard not to be cynical, building hope is the challenge, its hard to feel powerful or entitled when public spaces are commercially owned, social housing is being sold off, the cost of living is astronomical and minimum wage has hardly changed in years. Sometimes being positive can feel like a betrayal. If things seem bad now its nothing compared to what will happen once the full force of the cuts and changes to the welfare system come into play. Will London become another city where the rich live in gated communities and the poor live in slums? Just walking around you can already see that homelessness is on the rise and then witness the grotesque extravagance of the wealthy in places like Canary Wharf . What now? More riots? Class war? Terrorism? Without getting carried away with the romanticism of the post-apocalypse, it is worth acknowledging that we are always in a process of change, but we don’t know what these new changes will bring.

Where do you place yourself in relation to the world? What do you accept or let slip? What do you feel you have to stand up and shout against, to rage in the streets and tear your hair out for? When do you decide to make the best of it, patch up what’s left and keep going? Time keeps running away from us,the tide turns, the war is won, the battle is lost. Truth evades us, escapes us, mocks us. We are left to make sense out of uncertainty, to face change, to make choices. We rely on the stories we tell to give us meaning and purpose, because it is narrative, tales of heroism or feats of wonder that eventually unite us, empower us, change us. History will always throw up the unexpected but we can use language, like ribbon, to tie ourselves together, to fix a position, to find a voice. With so much going on in the world it can be hard to listen, to think, to concentrate, to know when and how to speak and act, but it is the dialogues we have with ourselves and each other that lie at the heart of what happens next.

7 FLYER 2

NYX 7 LAUNCH PARTY!

Nyx, a noctournal invites you to celebrate the forthcoming launch party for Issue 7: Machines. Continuing our twice yearly journal of philosophy, art and cultural studies,this new issue is the biggest and most ambitious Nyx yet, featuring Bernard Stiegler, Luciana Parisi, Michael Taussig, Benjamin Noys and many more great writers and artists sharing their thoughts on things technological.

Alongside these literary and visual temptations Nyx, the goddess of night, will also be offering an evening of sensory explosions – live music, djs and visual installations from art collective The Chess Club, all on the theme of Machines. Plus your chance to get your copy of Nyx 7 at the special launch night price of £5. All this will be taking place in the abandoned cells of the Old Police Station in Deptford, London (2 mins walk from New Cross Station) on Friday the 1st of June.

Exhibits will include:

Cell 1:

Nyx Magazine Launch + Space Sound Painting Machine (sculpture), Catharina C.Golebiowska

Cell 2:

Judith Spangs interactive Light-Sound-Installation “Just Whistle” (tbc)

Cell 3:

RoboCup – 3D Humanoid Soccer Simulation League
Bold Hearts is a RoboCup team from the University of Hertfordshire (UH), UK.
3D screen simulation

Cell 4:

Drawing Machines – artist performances:

-Simon Schäfer – printing live performance

-Laura Kuch – drawing machine / installation

-Linda Antalova – drawing live performance

Plus in the main bar area live musical performance from The Sonic Manipulator, DJs, film screenings and various other attractions as yet to be decided.

Pre-launch barbecue in the courtyard of the Old Police Station from 4pm. Launch/Exhibition from 6pm to 11pm.

Entry is free.

http://www.nyxnoctournal.org
http://www.theoldpolicestation.org

All welcome! Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.

Cheers,

The Nyx Team.Image

Nyx issue 6 is Out Now

The sixth edition of Nyx, a Noctournal is out now.

Concerning THE MONSTROUS, this issue brings together artists, visionaries, rogue philosophers and hip photographers, poets, ravers and dreamers to describe the darkest of fantasies and phantasms.

The issue features exclusive interviews with street-artist Stik, K-punk theorist Mark Fisher, alongside theories of the weird by Eugene Thacker at the New School and a theoretical defence of genocide by Nick Land, now based in Shanghai. Sofia Himmelblau, firebrand of the University for Strategic Optimism, revisits race and class in the 2011 riots clean-up alongside artwork by Laura Oldfield Ford. Amedeo Policante finds in today’s black bloc a spectral echo of Franciscan profanators, whilst Yari Lanci tears through Amy Winehouse, Andre Breivik and the superheroes of contemporary comic-books what it means to be a vigilante.

Side-stepping theory, Lara Choksey offers a new story on the deathliness of old family bedrooms, and Dan Taylor documents a case of Cordyceps contamination amongst a limited human population. Phil Sawdon pieces together the correspondence of demonologists, madmen and creatures even more unnameable in a Monstrum Impuissant, Marcin Kolodziejczyk goes on a cheeseburger zombie safari whilst Becky Ayre discovers a new alphabet amongst genetic oddities. izabela Lyra begins a sequence of new stories about Jade, sick with gems, containing all the contradictions of the modern world.

This monster finally contains numerous pieces of work by up-and-coming artists like Abigail Jones’ ‘A Taste of Perfection’ series, a freakish desecration of Lady Gaga and others by Nuala C. Murphy, a criminal badge of honour by Peter Willis, the beasts and ice cream inside the mind of Christy Taylor, disquieting new sketches of the female forms by Julia Scheele, and a cosmophilosophical comic-strip by Emix Regulus. Lucy Pepper shares with Nyx her reflections on the viciously observant Trolls catalogue, whilst we leave with an apocalyptic photo-essay on strung-out ravers by the anthropological eyes of Sinikka Heden and Nicholas Gledhill.

The sixth edition costs £8 (inc. postage) from the Nyx website, including a pdf copy. Alternatively a pdf only version can be bought right now from our site for £4, featuring two bonus pdf only articles – “Bread, Circus and Botox” by Mila Volpe, and a journey into the disenchanted language and meaninglessness of Royal Mail correspondence by Adam Hutchings, with illustrations by Chris Sav.To order, go to http://www.nyxnoctournal.com and follow the Paypal links on the homepage.

The magazine can also be purchased directly from the Goldsmiths shop, with further stockists to be announced imminently.